Mike McCarthy is usually at the postgame press conference podium for a long time speaking in circles and coach speak.
After the Packers’ dreadful loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, McCarthy was pretty direct. You could tell me meant business.
I thought this was pretty telling: “We’ve played nine games, time for our locker room to step up. All this conversation, we’re talking about who’s not here. We need to focus on what the hell we’re doing.”
Obviously McCarthy wants things to change immediately. That could mean assistant coach firings or players’ releases. He didn’t mention it, but McCarthy may have even meant taking a long look at himself in the mirror and wondering why this season is suddenly going off the tracks.
Because, let’s remember, McCarthy honed in on conditioning in the preseason. He wanted to finally combat all the injuries that have been occurring and thought that a better conditioning program might be the trick. Turns out that injuries are about as predictable as lightning and no matter how much conditioning is stressed, the old injury bug can bite at any time.
Also, let’s remember that general manager Ted Thompson has the final say on players. McCarthy can tell him if a player has been dogging it at practice, takes plays off in games or just doesn’t dive into the preparation the coaching staff shares with its players.
Which means, McCarthy is probably ready to hit the eject button on guys like Tramon Williams or maybe the entire secondary for that matter, but Thompson is a guy that will think about it two or three times.
Thompson will be more apt to stick with a player, especially if it’s a guy he drafted, because flat-out cutting one of his guys is a shot at his ability to rate the talent level of players.
The Eagles scored two touchdowns that were pretty weird. DeSean Jackson’s touchdown was a result of Morgan Burnett and Williams running into each other and Riley Cooper scored a touchdown because two defenders over ran the play.
While the secondary was exposed on big plays, the front seven did awful by allowing 204 rushing yards. The most disconcerting thing was that Nick Foles, who runs like he has cinder blocks on his feet, racked up 38 yards rushing.
The line of scrimmage is where you win games in December and January. If the Packers get continually beaten off the line, the defensive line and linebackers are the units that need to looked at with a fine tooth comb by Thompson. Is it time to cut bait with A.J. Hawk and B.J. Raji?
The next few weeks will determine how the roster gets shaped and molded for 2014. But no matter what happens before Aaron Rodgers comes back, the two biggest defensive warts at the start season are still there: a pass rush and the secondary.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn